Chennai: Tamil Thalaivas gave its fans a treat on Sunday by comprehensively defeating the defending champions Patna Pirates 42-26 in the opening match of the sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi league on Sunday at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
Tamil Thalaivas which finished at the bottom of the table in its group, last year never looked like that same team as it dominated the proceedings right from the start.
They first got Pardeep Narwal out with a tackle and went on to inflict an early all-out to Patna. Thalaivas defence was particularly strong with Manjeet Chhillar and Amit Hooda operating from the two corners.
After the all-out Pardeep Narwal got three quick raid points and brought Patna back into the contest. When it looked like Thalaivas was all but set for an all-out that was when PO Surjeet Singh brought out a super raid, that got Thalaivas two points. From then on there was no looking back as Thalaivas led the first half 26-8.
Patna Pirates defence was sloppy as they collected only two points. The entire team was dependent on their captain Pardeep Narwal, who despite getting a tally of 11 raid points could never save his team.
For Thalaivas Ajay Thakur was at his best, racking up 14 raid points, aided by Surjeet. The Thalaivas continued its game and inflicted another all-out to the defending champions and notching up an unassailable lead.
However, later in the second half, Patna managed to all out Thalaivas but it was all too late as the home team went on to notch up its first home win with the crowd going wild in celebration. In the second match U Mumba and Puneri Paltan played out a thrilling tie with both teams scoring 32. Right from the start, the match went too close with U Mumbai maintaining a two point lead till the last minute.
With the score at 32-30 and less than 30 seconds to go, Puneri Paltan’s Monu came on for a raid and got a crucial touch helping his team earn a point.
Siddhath Desai, from U Mumba who had a great game in his PKL debut, scoring 14 raid points went in for the decisive raid and faltered as he was tacled easily by the Pune defenders to level the score. With five more seconds left, Pune’s Monu decided to settle for a tie to end the gripping contest.